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Competency-based
Education (CBE)
A Path Forward
Dr. Ross Wirth
[email protected]
IACBE Annual Conference – April 9, 2014
Objectives for Today
• What is “competency-based education?”
• What leading schools are doing
• 3 Basic Approaches – complementary, but
potentially confusing if all done at once
• Phased CBE Expansion
– Course, degree, non-credit, blank sheet
2
Competency-based Education
• CBE can mean – low cost to purposeful design
– Recognizing prior learning
• At a competency (not course) level (portfolio and/or exams)
– Lower cost, self-paced program of study (new modality)
• Current assignments, projects, or competency exams
– Strengthened learning outcomes
• Focus on demonstration of learning
• Clear rubrics for evaluating depth of learning
– Purposeful curriculum design that is modular and
independent of course structure
• May include Direct Assessment of competencies
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Competency-based Model
Students are provided with the
• means to acquire the knowledge and skills
• at an individual pace
• to demonstrate achievement
• of specific competencies
• identified as necessary to complete a
program and earn a degree or other
credential.
Source: US Dept. of Education
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Leading Edge Schools
Western Governors University
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Started in 1995 with self-paced CBE (no legacy programs)
6 month enrollment windows, no limit on number of courses
120 Competencies, but tied to traditional course structure
Advisors, graders, & some Q&A support (MS required)
• Note: Advisors are called “faculty” but advise 80-100 students
– 40,000 students currently enrolled
– Starting to partner with community colleges
• Establishing articulation pathways with community colleges along with
CBE course development (mostly information technology courses)
• Leveraging grants – Ivy Tech (Gates grant) & Sinclair (DoL grant)
– $5780/yr – all-you-can-learn 6-month subscription model
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Southern New Hampshire Univ.
• dba College for America (concept driven by Clay Christensen)
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Developed separate from other programs
120 competencies – direct assessment (no courses) – P/F grading
Working toward grouping competencies into course equivalents
No time restriction for mastery; work on multiple modules at same time
ePortfolio & badge system for demonstrating progress
Advisors & content experts – very data-driven with predictive analytics
Modules also marketed separately to employers (non-credit)
AA in general business studies currently
Coming – BA in communications, with specialties in health care
management and business
– Breakeven thought to be 5000 students (500 currently)
• Target enrollment of 350,000 by 2018
– $2500/year – All-you-can-learn
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Kentucky Community & Technical College System
– Two self-paced options
• Learn-On-Demand – removes dead time in the academic calendar
• Direct2Degree –
– Carefully designed single-train course sequence (new)
- also a good advising model for other modalities
- Easy to skip past courses that have been transferred in
– Working toward 24x7 faculty support with back-up available
– 24 hour turnaround for grading
– Learning Resources
• Textbook (adaptive learning) fee required in addition to tuition
• This fee is proportionally split among all publishers based on “average
student use”
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Kentucky Community & Technical College System
– Monthly subscription to encourage faster progression (25 mo.)
– Adaptive learning enables more modules for the subscription fee
– 81 modules for AS in General Studies taken individually and
organized into courses when all modules for a course are done
• 3 to 5 modules per course
• Adding Business Admin., Info. Tech., & Nursing
– Each module (3-8 weeks) stands alone for credit for stop-outs
– 3-levels of competency across one to three courses
– Financial Aid options –
• semester term (traditional student)
• non-term (multiple starts each semester)
• no-term monthly subscription (DoEd experimental site)
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CBE Approaches
Decision – Learning Resources
• Mix (from lowest to highest cost to deliver)
– Student Curated thru Directed Search
• Leverage existing resources, but fill in gaps
through student searching by key words provided
– Flipped Classroom using
• Existing content in LMS (Blue Quill)
• Open Resources (add additional time to ID & vet)
– Publisher’s Adaptive Learning platform
• Adds to the cost to deliver, but quicker
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Decision – CBE Approach
Complementary to offer
but potentially confusing
Students must choose one
• 3 approaches to CBE
– Additional modality for individual courses
• Opportunistic & Quick implementation
– Focused, single-train of courses
• Intensive with quick response times
– Secondary brand (like College for America)
• Disruptive, but leverages existing resources
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Approach – Decision Criteria
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Course-based or Direct Assessment?
Self-paced or within existing modalities?
Time & capital available to develop?
Development approach?
– OER, Student Curated, Adaptive Learning?
• Types of Assessment?
• Separate or aligned with existing courses?
• Financial Aid Integration?
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Phased Roll-out
Enhancement to Concept
Growing the Concept
1. New Modality – Individual Courses
– Self-paced with Support Services
2. Extend to a full Degree Path
– Single Train, Tri-modalities, or 2nd Brand
3. Content Re-use for non-credit offering
– Potential for pathway to credit
4. Full Competency Mapping
– Ultimate Objective for CBE
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Learning & Assessment Flow
Course
Pre-Test
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Unit
Pretest
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Learning
Activity
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Unit
Posttest
A
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P
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Course
PostTest
F
L
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Series of Learning Modules
Exam
for
credit
Course
Complete
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Competency-based
Education (CBE)
A Path Forward
Trade-off Challenge to Avoid
CBE requires managing in a way
to avoid common trade-offs
• Cost
• Speed
• Quality
lower
quicker
unchanged for academics
improved for student support
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Mixed Modalities
• Offers an alternative to online & F2F
• Speed can be increased, but without a
reduction in student cost
• Fits easily within existing financial aid
• Individual courses can be implemented as
faculty have time and interest
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Single-train Completion
• Can be run in parallel with existing
financial aid, but
without an ability to move back-andforth between approaches
– Students must choose a financial aid plan
• Provides a student advising model
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New Division - Business Model
similar to College for America
• Single Train course sequence
– Majority of courses common to all degrees
– No alternate pathways for elective options
• Competency-based, self-paced learning
• No-frills, low-cost student pricing
• No financial aid, but with provision for
adjustment for economic situation
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Best Practices
• Successful ideas becoming common in CBE programs
– Competencies grouped into self-paced courses
• Students are challenged at their level of knowledge and progress
• Competency report to complement the transcript
– All-you-can-learn subscription model (monthly?)
• Difficult to integrate with other term based modalities
– Single-train course sequence (also an advising model)
– Adaptive learning to recognize prior learning (text included)
– Authentic assessment
• Projects & portfolios
– Extensive student support system
• Advisors & LMS tracking
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Target CBE Student
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•
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Working Adult
Prior experience in field of study
Some college, but no degree
Self-starter & able to follow directions
Technology savvy
– Information literate
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Competency vs. Learning Outcome
• Learning Outcomes are defined in terms of
– “Particular levels of knowledge, skills,
and abilities that a student has attained”
• Competencies take this further by
– Describing learning outcomes in terms
that “describe not only what is to be
learned but also the specific levels of
performance that students are expected
to master”
Peter Ewel (2001)
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Phase 1 Summary
• Self-paced modality
– Leverages existing learning resources
– Complemented with adaptive learning
• Provides a continuum of offerings
– Values instructor assistance in learning
– Recognizes cost of assessing across different
levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy
• Meets the challenge of lowering cost to
students (if they are qualified learners)
– While maintaining quality
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Phase 2 Summary
• Expands from individual courses to a full
degree program
– Targets additional self-paced courses
– Integrates with existing modalities when
students require greater instructor interaction
• Expand competencies into assessing
higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy
– Develop additional exams (100-200 level) and
competency-based assignments (300-400 level)
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Alternate Assessment
• Short essay questions structured around a
competency-driven grading rubric
– Competency assessed with demonstration of
learning
• Peer Assessment (progress tracking)
– Clearly defined rubric
– Calibration exercise prior to peer assessment
– Multiple (3-5) peers doing the assessment
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Policy Gaps
• Pass/Fail grading
– Currently no P/F option for Franklin courses
– Limit on number of P/F courses accepted?
• New compensation model is required
– Roles: process advisor, content Q&A, and grader
– Unknown degree of student need for help &
time required that is likely to vary by course
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Phase 3 Summary
• Develop a “total needs” curriculum that
– Meets the needs of graduating students and
employee development by hiring managers
• Leverages faculty and LMS content across
multiple markets with hooks for up-selling
– Includes a pathway to credit that leverages
student data for suggestive marketing
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Potential Pilot Projects
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Entrepreneurship – Seminars and UG Certificate
HRM 701 & SHRM CEUs – CCE seminars
Risk Mgt & Insurance – CCE seminars
Internet Marketing – CCE seminars
Information Analytics – Oracle Certificate
Business Forensics – UG Certificate
Inst Design & Perf Tech – GR Certificate
Turnkey “Corporate University”
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Phase 3 gaps to be addressed
• Needs closer alignment between credit and
non-credit course development & administration
• Requires curriculum to be deconstructed into a
“business needs” structure
• An integrated marketing approach is required
• Will need to track competencies separate from
Colleague
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Phase 4 Summary
• Approach Program Outcomes independent from
courses (Blank Sheet curriculum development)
– Competencies first, then courses as competency
groups (for transferability)
– Assessment of higher levels of competency built into
the course sequence
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Two Approaches to
Competency Specification
• Industry needs, built on
academic foundation
– Certification focus
– Competency Model Clearinghouse (DoL)
• Academics, taking into account
hiring manager needs
– Degree focus
– Tuning USA built on Lumina DQP
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Existing Competency Frameworks
• Franklin’s current Gen. Ed. & Programs
• OBR Transfer Module (part of Franklin’s)
• Lumina Degree Qualifications Profile
– Tuning USA degree specification
• Competency Model Clearinghouse (DoL)
• Modeled after other schools
– Southern New Hampshire University
– Western Governors University
– Northern Arizona University
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Blank-Sheet Program Design
• What competencies are required of all
graduates? (Gen. Ed. structure is redesigned)
• What competencies are specific to established
groups of jobs? (Bus. & Prof. Core)
• How can the above competencies be structured
for delivery within a “course” structure?
• How many of the required learning components
and assessments already exist?
• Direct and/or course-based assessment?
• How can articulation be enabled?
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Summary Multi-phase Pilot Tests
1. Self-paced modality for courses
2. Expand competencies into assessing
higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy
3. Non-credit Integration –
multiple pathways to credit
4. Purposeful curriculum development
using competencies across the program
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• Hip Pocket slides
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Kentucky Community & Technical College System
– Learning Resources
• Textbook (adaptive learning) fee required in addition to tuition
• This fee is proportionally split among all publishers based on
“average student use”
– Learning & Assessment
• Credit for prior learning with pre-test passthru to post-test (grade)
• Authentic assessment (projects & portfolios)
– Student Support
• Extra effort made to ensure student engagement
• Using brainfuse.com for on-demand tutoring, study tools, and study
groups (significant impact on learning & retention)
• Starfish Retention Solutions for advising (improved retention)
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Univ. of Wisconsin system
• Flexible Option
– Rolling out a three month “all-you-can-learn” term program
• Subscription model - $9000/year or $900 per “competency set”
– (expected to cover 50% of up-front development expense)
• A degree is composed of eight to 15 competency sets
• New 3-month “term” begins the first of each month
• 1 to 85 student advising ratio
– Direct Assessment – no tie to credit hours
– Incorporates Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)
• Assessed via exams, case study analysis, papers, & portfolio review
– $8,000,000 initial funding
– Failed to get DoED approval for Federal Financial Aid for roll-out
• Moving toward Experimental Site status
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Capella University (pilot test)
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New self-paced modality developed for a few programs
Four to 10 competencies per course plus “final” assessment
“Direct assessment” of learning, but not really
“open ended” term – DoEd waived rules for financial aid
Limited to students of corporate partners
BS Business Admin. & MBA
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UniversityNow
– dba Pattern University & New Charter University (not accredited)
• 1000 students, mainly in Pattern University
– Pattern CBE, online, self-paced
• $350/mo. Undergraduate & $520/mo. Graduate
• Does not participate in Federal Financial Aid program
– Prospective students can sample classes – up to final exam
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Southern New Hampshire Univ.
• dba College for America cont.
– President Paul LeBlanc now spends more time in Washington and at
conferences than on campus
– 5 year board commitment
– $3,500,000 investment last year
– Breakeven thought to be 5000 students (500 currently)
– Target enrollment of 350,000 by 2018
– Partnering with Kepler University (kepler.org) to bring low cost
($1000/yr) higher education to Rwanda
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Western Governors University
• Learning path – student customized
– Course pre-assessment of prior learning
– Meet with a “personal mentor” to customize a
learning path for the course
• Mentors are F/T employees who have a graduate
degree in field they oversee
– Self-paced learning using support material
– Competency exam or assessed assignments
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Northern Arizona University
– Separate from other programs (Pearson adaptive learning)
• Design process: existing courses → competencies → independent,
interdisciplinary modules → courses for transferability
– BS computer information technology & small business admin.
– 500 students currently – 8000 in five years to hit breakeven
– Considering monthly subscription (currently six months)
• No refund once the month starts & financial aid paid at month end
– “Competency report” in addition to traditional transcript
– Direct assessment of learning
• Pre-test to award credit for prior learning
• Has had some difficulty with accreditation in a few states
– Each learning component supported in multiple ways
• Text, video, exercises, etc.
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Competency Transcript
• In use at Northern Arizona University
– Supports direct assessment of competencies
– Complements traditional course-based
transcript
• Courses are composed of separate competencies
that are taken individually
– Serves as a communication device for student
use with potential employers
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Direct Assessment
• Multi-tier – Northern Arizona University
– “competency” is deemed as 86% of “mastery”
– Option to go deeper by doing additional assignments that show
higher comprehension
• More complex application of learning
• Student differentiation extends to effort expended
– However, this increases the time to develop assessments
– Competency Transcript describes competency, type of
assessment, and level achieved
• Capella and College of America (SNHU)
– Non-performance, basic, proficient, and distinguished
– “Distinguished” level required at graduate level (Capella)
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Cross-institution
Degree Tuning
(Competency Alignment)
Dr. Ross Wirth
Degree Tuning
Tuning is
• a collaborative, faculty-driven process that
• identifies what a student should know and
• be able to do in a chosen discipline
• at the completion of a degree by
– defining areas of competency
– identifying learning outcomes and
– scaling competencies and outcomes to a
degree level
Source: Institute for Evidence-based Change (IEBC)
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Tuning
• Tuning is faculty-driven,
– With input from employers and students
• Tuning does not standardize, but
– Organizes what is common and accepted
• Tuning does not require new curriculum, but
– Does offer an opportunity to be more intentional
• Tuning focuses on Learning Outcomes,
– Not curricula nor method of delivery
• Tuning does not all address everything,
– Institutional individuality is encouraged
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Tuning – definition 2
Tuning,
• a faculty-driven response to the Bologna
process, is
• the process of “harmonizing”
• higher education programs and degrees
• by defining student learning outcomes
• by subject area
Source: Tuning Educational Structures USA
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Tuning – Objective
• Purposeful curriculum design that is
– Mapped across progressive courses of
– Increased rigor and high-impact challenges to
– Engage students in more complex levels of
achievement
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Benefits of Tuning
• Students gain clear expectations and pathways to degree
completion
– Elevator speech for why their degree is important for employers
– Scaffolding for underrepresented students
• Aligns coursework with civic, societal, and workforce
needs
– Provides a response to criticism of higher education
• Responsiveness to changes in discipline knowledge and
its application
• Aligns higher education institutions
• Emphasizes life-long learning
• Faculty enjoy engagement in the discipline
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Tuning Process Components
1.
2.
3.
4.
Define the discipline core
Map career pathways
Consult with stakeholders
Hone core competencies and
learning objectives
5. Draft degree specifications
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• Students need
– Clarity of what courses are required
– How each course relates to their post-college
goals (including general education courses)
– Understanding of what is needed for success
in each course and in their career
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OBR Transfer Module
1. Communicate effectively (F-1)
2. Evaluate arguments in a logical fashion (F-2)
3. Employ the methods of inquiry characteristic of
natural sciences, social sciences, and the arts
and humanities (F-4, 7, & 8)
4. Acquire an understanding of our global and
diverse culture and society (F-6)
5. Engage in our democratic society (F-6)
(Franklin’s outcome)
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Franklin’s Gen. Ed. Outcomes
• Graduates will
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Communicate effectively (L-2e O-1)
Apply logical thinking and critical analysis (L-2a O-2)
Apply ethical analysis and reasoning (L-2c)
Demonstrate scientific literacy (L-1 O-3)
Use mathematical information and processes (L-2d)
Reflect on global interdependence as it may relate to personal
responsibility and societal obligations (L-4 O-4&5)
7. Recognize, analyze, and evaluate humanities artifacts (L-1 O-3)
8. Apply fundamental concepts, theories, and research
methodologies of the social and behavioral sciences into
personal, social, and professional contexts (L-1 O-3)
(Lumina & OBR outcome)
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Lumina Degree Profile
1. Broad/Integrative Knowledge (F-4, 7, & 8)
2. Intellectual Skills
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
Analytic inquiry (F-2)
Use of information resources
Engaging diverse perspectives (F-3)
Quantitative fluency (F-5)
Communication fluency (F-1)
3. Applied Learning (F-major)
4. Civic Learning (F-6)
5. Specialized Knowledge (F-major)
(Franklin’s outcome)
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Bologna Process
Dublin Descriptors
Acquiring knowledge and understanding
Applying knowledge and understanding
Making informed judgments and choices
Communicating knowledge &
understanding
• Capacities to continue learning
• Tuning – Subject Area Reference Points
•
•
•
•
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Degree Qualifications & Tuning
Cross institution
• Degree Qualifications Profile (Lumina)
– Levels of degree rigor
– Cross-curriculum general ed competencies
• Tuning (IEBC & Tuning USA)
– Discipline-specific competencies
– Driven by faculty, vetted by employers
• Institution-specific differentiation
– Specialized curriculum & methods of delivery
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Evidence-based Change Model
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Collaboration among discipline faculty
Facilitation – discussion guided by data
Intervention – strategy grounded in data
Gauging progress – tracking metrics
Lasting change that has continual review
and adjustment
– Scaling what works, tweaking what needs
improvement, & discontinuing the ineffective
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Tuning USA Initiatives
• 1st wave: MN, IN, & UT
– Biology, chemistry, physics, history, elementary
education, & graphic arts
• 2nd wave: TX
– Engineering: mechanical, civil, chemical, & biomedical
• 2nd wave: KY
– Business (general & marketing), nursing, social work,
biology, & elementary education
• Other states: IL, MO, & community colleges
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To what extent should we be involved?
•
Lumina Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP)
– Becoming a standard for building competencies
•
Tuning USA & Institute for Evidence-Based Change
– Cross-institution degree alignment (Midwest Higher Education Compact)
•
Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
– Measuring student learning
•
National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment
– Assessment & the DQP (8 OH schools now involved)
•
Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (OECD)
– Standardized testing
•
•
•
The Bologna Process
– Actively involved in cross-institution tuning
Institute for Higher Education Policy
– US alignment with The Bologna Process
CareerOneStop (DoL)
– Building workplace competency models
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Next Generation Textbook/Course
• The eTextbook is only a repackaged text.
• What might a new concept textbook be?
Competency
Rubrics
Gamification
*
Intellectual
Capital
Imagine the
possibility of
building something
here?
Multi-media
Learning
Resources
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